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-   -   Love's LONG Paris trip report (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/love-s-long-paris-trip-report-426859/)

ilovelabs2003 Apr 29th, 2004 02:29 PM

Love's LONG Paris trip report
 
Paris was beautiful! My husband and I had a magical vacation! I think I am going through some sort of post-vacation dperession or something! We brought the Rick Steves book and a good street map and we were on our way! Anyhow, here is my report:

Day 1
Flight out of Boston was smooth. BA was a great airline. They fed us well and for some reason the people in my row got free half bottles of champagne, which is usually not served in coach! It was vary tasty! The food was actually tasty, or perhaps it has been so long since I have eaten plane food on domestic flights that I thought it was delicious!

We arrived in London around 5:30 am and our connecting flight to Paris left around 6:45 or so. Again, smooth sailing. It was a very short flight, and still we got juice, muffin, and yogurt.

We taxied to the hotel and dropped of our luggage at Hotel du Champs de Mars in the 7th. Nice, quiet place. Room very nicely decorated. It was still too early to check in, so we walked around rue Cler and then ate at Cafe du Marche. We checked in about 12:30 and took a four hour nap. It really helped! We then got up, showered, and took a long walk along the Seine to the Tuileries. I had to keep pinching myself! We took the metro home and had dinner at the Cafe Bosquet. The food was very good and well priced.

Day 2

We got up, grabbed deux pains au chocolat from the patisserie/boulangerie on rue Cler and headed to the Orsay. I loved it there! I love impressionist paintings. Also, the sculptures on the first floor were beautiful! We had lunch at the museum self service cafe (sandwich, chips, cheese, etc). It was not as expensive as the other cafe on floor below. We hit the gift shop and bought some prints and after went to the Rodin.

Definitely go to the Rodin if you have never been! The gardens are beautiful, and romantic! It was raining a bit, but we didn't care. My husband and I just strolled along, amazed at the scultping talent of this man! Inside the sculptures were incredible! It is small place that you can squeeze in if you don't have the time, but if you do have the time, take it!

We had crepes for dinner, but they were not that great. Don't get crepes from the stand near Pont Neuf! The creperie on rue Cler had better ones, and the best were from a place right across from Notre Dame. We went on a bateau mouche trip that night! Breathtaking!

Day 3
We went to the top of Notre Dame (amazing!). I loved communing with the gargoyles! I got some great photos. It is worth the wait, and the climb! We then went to Ste. Chapelle, the most beautiful place I have ever seen! Don't miss it . . . the stained glass windows are breathtaking! We also went to the Deportation Memorial behind Notre Dame. It was very moving. It's worth a visit.

After, we were ravenous, so we walked around and ate at some cafe on St. Germain des Pres . . . I had yummy escargots (the first of three times I had them!) and a goat cheese salad. Wine, of course!

We went to the Louvre late afternoon and toured the Egyptian section . . . very cool. We then toured the grand gallery and sculptures. The place is overwhelming, but we liked going at night . . . less crowds.

We ate a late night meal back in our neighborhood at La Varangue, a tiny place run by one man, Phillipe. I had a steak with a simple shallot reduction . . . c'etait magnifique!

Day 4
VERSAILLES!

No wonder there was a revolution in France! Don't get me wring, it is beautiful, but not such a great idea when the rest of the country is suffering! Anyway, we toured the state apartments (which were packed!) and then we paid extra to see the king, queen, dauphin and dauphine's apartments. It was less crowded and came with an audio tour. We then toured some of the gardens . . . gigantic! What a back yard Louis XIV had! I would not want to weed that place!

We ate dinner that night a place we sort of stumbled across as we were wondering in our neighborhood. It is called Auberge du Champs de Mars. It is on rue de l'Expo, run by Madeleine and Michel. The food was so fanstastic that we decided to go there again on our last night. 17 euros prix fixe, pretty good I say! Yummy escargots and creme brulee! We highly recommend that you eat there if you are staying in the 7th.

Day 5

We decided to go the Champs Elysees and go shopping in the morning. I got some stuff at Sephora, including a new Christian LeCroix scent that is to die for! Then we decided to go home and buy some stuff for a picninc and go to the Jardin du Luxembourg for a picnic. It was a beautiful, sunny 75 degree day! We bought picnic items on rue Cler and took the metro to the jardin. It was great! Then we wondered around the 6th and shopped some, ending up at the stalls along the Seine and buying more stuff! We bought an original water color of the back view of Notre Dame, which I prefer.

That night we ate at Cafe du Marche, which is right across from the hotel. It has pretty good food, and it is convenient! After we ate, we decided on more wine, and went inside and started talking to two French ladies who wanted to speak English (although both of us speak decent French). They were great! I mentioned a song that I remembered from my HS French class, and they knew it and the three of us sat and sang the chorus!

Day 6

Our last day! We sort of lazed around, got sandwiches at the boulangerie, and ate in the parc du Champs de Mars. We bought some nice items from some of the shops on rue Cler. Later, we ate again at Auberge and went to the top of the Tour Eiffel at sunset. It was a magical ending to our trip!

We did a lot this trip, but it didn't seem to hectic. It was wonderful, and thanks to you all for such helpful advice.

I can't wait to go back!

BTW, I came back a wee bit slimmer thanks to all that walking!

jamie1984 Apr 29th, 2004 02:37 PM

Thanks for an amazing summary of your trip. Sounds like you had an absolutely wonderful time! Now I'm dying to go back to Paris!

cigalechanta Apr 29th, 2004 03:00 PM

you trip sounded like it was perfect, not a sour note. Welcome back.
I love labs too.

Scarlett Apr 29th, 2004 03:34 PM

You made me so homesick for Paris :)
I love doing what you did, wandering, eating and shopping!
BTW-your lovely report was not long enough for those who are longing to be in Paris ~

grantop Apr 29th, 2004 03:39 PM

Great report - so glad you went to the Rodin. We went in the (light) rain too and somehow I think it just added to the romance! Thanks so transporting us back to Paris for a few minutes . . . .

elle Apr 29th, 2004 04:38 PM

Very nice report.

What floor were you on at the Hotel du Champs de Mars? We stayed there once and liked it very much, although we had the room on the ground floor right behind the desk (it was just for one night). When we were checking out the desk clerk told me which rooms to ask for the next time, but I've since forgotten!

Loved your comment about Versailles! My father's mother's family came from France way back--they were Protestants who were heavily taxed and fined by Louis XIV and his minions, so I always feel as if I own a bit of it (maybe one mirror in the Hall of Mirrors :) ).

Sue4 Apr 29th, 2004 04:50 PM

Thanks for your lovely report of Paris.
Glad you had such a wonderful trip. I've been to Paris several times, but never stayed in the 7th - think I will next time,as everyone seems to like it -the Champs de Mars sounds nice.

kismetchimera Apr 29th, 2004 04:56 PM

Thanks for your report Ilovelabs2003.

It was perfect , short and concise, the way i like trip reports.
I see that you really enjoyed La Ville Lumiere..I love to go there, everytime I go back to Europe..

ilovetulips Apr 29th, 2004 06:03 PM

Hi! I really liked the report. You went to some highlights of Paris that I am looking forward to visiting -D'Orsay, Rodin. Can you tell me what you thought of the Rue Cler area? I am wanting to stay at the Hotel Muguet when we go next year. I was wondering how is the atmoshphere there compared to other areas such as Latin Quarter and the Marais. The prices in the Rue Cler seem very reasonable (for hotels.)

ilovelabs2003 Apr 30th, 2004 03:57 AM

elle,

We stayed on the first floor at the hotel, but it was a room in the back that you had to go through a tiny courtyard to get to. We felt isolated from the rest of the place, which was a good thing! The name of the room was Jacinthe, and it was number 2. The room was decorated with blues and yellows, my favorite color combination! Of course you hear the occasional toilet flush, but we slept very well.

ilovetulips,

We really enjoyed the rue Cler area. We are foodies, and there are great food shops, restaurants, and fruitstands all over. Sure we had to take the metro to the major sights, but I loved the feel of the place. I almost felt like a local! I know that some think the 7th has become overrun with tourists b/c of Rick Steves, but we never felt that way. I would defintiley stay there again.


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